To celebrate the centenary of Port Elizabeth's city status, the SA Post Office released a set of ten stamps and two first-day covers.
Port Elizabeth, the largest city in the Eastern Cape and one of the country's major seaports, has a rich cultural heritage. Known as the "Friendly City", Port Elizabeth was established when the British Settlers landed in 1820 and was declared a city on 28 July 1913.
Port Elizabeth, originally named Algoa Bay, is South Africa's fifth largest city. It now forms part of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, which includes Uitenhage and Despatch.
The first stamp depicts Donkin Reserve, as illustrated in a colour lithograph by George Dinsdale. It is probably one of four prints bought for the city's public library in 1926 from Cape Town. The final prints, including the one featured on the stamp, have many inaccuracies because they were copied from sketches and then printed without Dinsdale ever seeing Port Elizabeth.
The second stamp features a painting by Ethel Sawyer, showing the famous tug "Sir Frederick" in Port Elizabeth harbour. The "Sir Frederick" was used for 35 years and was eventually was scuttled near Thunderbolt Rock in Algoa Bay.
A water-colour painting by George Pemba called "Birth of Site and Service" features on the third stamp. It depicts one of Port Elizabeth's first black townships called Site and Service. Pemba, who was born in 1912 in Hill's Kraal, Port Elizabeth, was known as the people's painter. His work reflects the richness and diversity of South African life, capturing the essence of the country's people in paintings of rural and township life.
An image of the old railway station in Uitenhage, known by locals as the "Doll's House", is featured on the fourth stamp. The building is now the Railway Museum and was proclaimed a national monument in August 1976.
The fifth stamp features an early photograph of the industrial area of North End. Today, North End is home to the impressive Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium overlooking the North End Lake.
The SA Post Office commissioned Tim Hopwood, a photographer from Port Elizabeth to take the photographs used on the following stamps: Donkin Reserve with sculpture of Nelson Mandela, the Coega Industrial Development Zone, the Red Location Museum and the Old Court House, Uitenhage. A photograph of the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium was also used on one of these stamps.